Tomorrow is the big day! Aurion, our Islander 28, is finally ready to launch after a very long wait for the weather to come around and for us to get her ship shape for the upcoming summer of sailing on Lake Pepin. This year we have a number of projects that we have already completed and have yet to start, sound familiar to any other boat owners out there? Of course there was the yearly application of another coat of VC17 to keep the pesky zebra mussels from attaching themselves to the bottom of our sailboat. All went well with that, after doing for a number of years now we can get it done in about an hour and a half. Nice having a small boat for some things at least!
The other project I needed to complete before Aurion hit the water was replacing the packing in the packing gland. The old packing had reached the end its useful life as I had to tighten the packing nut almost to the very end of the threads to get set properly. This was my first attempt at this common boat project and I think it went very well. Luckily our prop shaft is very easy to slide out from the transmission coupling so I can re-pack the gland in a much easier manner than most. No hanging from my toes trying to wrap the packing around the shaft and inserting into the gland with one hand for me. Also, and very significantly, I had a great resource in the website known as Compass Marine. If you want to check out a very detailed and well done dissertation on the nuances of re-packing a traditional stuffing box, then you will definitely want to check out that site. It has a wealth of other information as well and I reference it frequently.
Other projects coming down the line are re-bedding a few and various leaks from deck fittings and such and permanently mounting our two-burner stove top. That last one has been nagging me for a couple of years now. Eek! Also a new battery charger, which entails upgrading the AC system to a new panel is on the list of summer projects. Another addition to my sailing bag of tricks is a shiny new bosuns chair so I can go up the mast like a real sailor! I’m actually looking forward to going up the mast, I must remember to bring my camera!
Oh, and I almost forgot, I LOVE sailing! This winter has been so long that I almost forgot how much I love being on the water, Yippee, launch day is tomorrow!